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HIV Prevention:Nigerian govt approves self-test kit

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The fight against the Human Imuno-deficienct Virus(HIV) may entered a nother level with the approval of HIV self-test kit by the Minister of Health,Isaac Adewole.

According to the Minister,Adewole,Nigerians will soon be able to ascertain their HIV status from the comfort of their homes.

The approval by Mr Adewole, on Friday in Abuja came during the launch of the Nigeria HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) report.

The new HIV self-testing kit called Alere HIV Combo (AHC) Rapid Test Kit, as declared by the Minister could be used by an individual in the comfort of his/her home.

The kit will provide accurate results in 20 minutes and can be run using blood gotten by pricking a finger or serum/plasma.

Mr Adewole said the kit is a new addition to the already existing laboratory and hospital modes of confirming HIV status within the country.

Speaking on the kit,Mr Onoja, said the manufacturers of Alere HIV Combo, however, claim the test kit ”detects both antibodies and the P24 (window period) antigen in the whole plasma or serum.”

“In addition to laboratory performance, characteristics like sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the test kit were evaluated to determine if the AHC can detect early infections that are antibody-negative by discovering the P24 antigens.

“The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of AHC were 99.7 per cent, 98.7 per cent and 99.5 per cent respectively.”

However, the team pointed out its limitation saying that the kit cannot ‘pick’ the virus during the window period.

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